Went to Calgary last week to Cattlemen’s young leaders. It is a group of 16 young people in Canadian Beef production that have competed to be in program. They then are assigned “mentors” and participate in different activities to help develop them into leaders in the cattle industry in Canada and the world. I spent quite a lot of time with the group and again am inspired by the young folks I am around.
They had a banquet after our sessions at the feed yard and all the sponsors of the program got up and spoke . I was there because of my friend and mentor Melodie Chan, head vet for Zoetis, Canada recommending me to present stockmanship. Mel didn’t grow up in agriculture, but learned to love it and is a great ambassador and promoter of doing animal agriculture right.
The first big cattle handling demonstration put on at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was in Denver, close to ten years ago, with myself working cattle horseback, Joel Hamm working on foot, and Charlie Trayer working dogs.
Zoetis was the sponsor and we all went to supper the night before. A fellow named Julian Garcia represented Zoetis and gave a real positive speech of why they were involved and why they felt stockmanship and stewardship was important. This was way back before it was as accepted as now, and Julian got it. I was inspired as to the importance of what we were trying to do for the industry, and just as importantly, the animals we are working with.
Julian has moved to be the lead for Zoetis Canada. We see each other quite a bit now, and I feel comfortable enough to give him a bad time, I really admire how dedicated he is to the cattle business, and like the fact that he was one of the first to step up and support what I felt was so important.
The young leaders program is funded by corporate sponsorship. I was real proud of the fact that I had worked quite extensively for Zoetis, United Farmers of Alberta(UFA) as well as Cargill, just a few of the major funders of the program.
We all need to share and spend more effort in mentoring our young people that have the desire to improve themselves and the world. Instead of complaining about how bad kids are these days and how tough they have it, maybe we should step up and help do something about it. That’s what the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Emily Ritchie (program coordinator) and lots of corporate people that believe are doing.
Next stop, Sacramento and my friend, and lead cowboy for California Beef Council, Bill Dales place. We went to watch his daughter Kendall practice roping. She has been a real light in my life in the past, but I have not seen her for quite a long time and because of family circumstances have not been in contact with her. It was so great to see how she had grown up so much, but still had that beautiful smile and personality. Kids get drug into adult lives sometimes, and it amazes me how they stay so good. I just wish when adults can’t get along, they at least overcome the ego to help the young ones involved.
WE USED TO ROPE FOR SKITTLES SO I BROUGHT SOME TO KENDALL
She made my week with her “Uncle Curt” and a hug.
Speaking of Mentors, Ryan Fowler from Skyline silversmiths was helping a bunch of young ropers. He was so positive and in tune with really helping each kid to be safe and have a winning experience. It was really an enjoyable time seeing all the activities and the nice place they had created to create winners, not only in the arena, but in the other things in life as well. Work ethic, manners, safety, and respect for others was some of the lessons I saw presented.
Spent rest of day at Bill and his partner Lisa’s place. They had a little family get together and a California style meal. Good food, good people, good time.
Bill drove us down to the Fresno area and we participated in the first part of California Beef councils “Pasture to Plate program”. I got to ride a real nice horse, work some real nice cattle on a real nice ranch, the “.7”with some of the best people you would ever want to be around, and do it to promote the lifestyle and business that I love to the people and businesses that prepare and sell beef to the customer. Can it get any better than that?
THE DOT SEVEN RANCH AND THE BEHLENS AND ME PRESENTING BEEF
Yep, it can. When we finished, we headed up to the yard and all sat down to my absolute favorite American meal. Tri tip Californio style. We enjoyed food, drink, conversation, and a young Bronc rider by the name of Justin picking and singing some real “cowboy barbecue music”. I can’t tell you how nice of an evening it was.
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I did get some life changing advice this week. At the roping practice I noticed free weights and Ryan’s wife Sophie was in real good shape. I asked her about her thought on health and nutrition. She said she was on a high carb Paleo diet, which seems to be somewhat of an oxymoron. She felt the two important things in life were to make sure your body can recover from stress quickly, and keep your legs strong.
The first is obvious, but I have never really looked at it that way, but it is so important to be healthy enough to recover. The second is kinda funny but real true. To be independent in life and not depend on others, she felt your legs must be strong enough to get on and off the toilet. Now that is thinking way ahead, but she is right. You never know what your going to learn and where your going to learn it.
I saddled my horse early this morning(got on an airplane) and am long trotting (flying)to Nebraska to work for 4 days amongst lots of cattle and feed. Long days in the pens at Gottsch Feeders, and I am looking forward to it. I’ll learn something to share.